June 30, 2022

Researchers call to end smoking in films

In a curious turn of moralising, UK researchers have called for films depicting smoking to be R-rated.

In a curious turn of moralising, UK researchers have called for films depicting smoking to be R-rated. In a study published in the journal Thorax, researchers Ailsa Lyons and John Britton of the UK Centre for Tobacco Studies argue that “there is increasing international evidence that exposure to smoking behaviour and other imagery in films is a major cause of smoking experimentation and uptake among children and young people”. They argue that while smoking may be justified in films on “artistic and factual grounds”, it usually is not. They wrote:

“Protecting children from an exposure that is so potentially damaging is, however, a national governmental responsibility and the solution to the problem is simple: for UK and indeed other film classification agencies to apply, a default 18 classification on all films containing smoking in the absence of powerful justification and irrespective of whether the smoking is judged by regulators to be promotional or glamorous or offset by comments from other characters.”

In the UK, a film is classified as “18” if it contains extreme gore or violence and/or sexually explicit content, such as A Clockwork Orange or Inglourious Basterds. It corresponds roughly to the American “R” rating and the Australian R18+ rating. ~ Thorax, Vol 66 Issue 10

Researchers call to end smoking in films
Jared Yee
films
healthcare
morality
UK